Sharing Our Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Moms are always there for us, guiding us, supporting us, comforting us and loving us unconditionally! For Mother’s Day, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share with our audience what makes their Mom so special! Here are the wonderful results.

RYAN M
My mom is special because she does so much for me. I love my mom because she is awesome. My mom helps me gel my hair. We celebrate Mother’s Day by going shopping. I love my mom because she is fun to hang out with. 

KERI
I think Mother’s Day is a good holiday because you can go out to eat. I will buy my Mom a gift this year. I have to ask her to see what she wants. Mom is special because she takes me places. I also think she’s special by being kind to the family. I love my mom because she is special and kind, and courteous to others. She helps me by taking me to doctor’s appointments. We celebrate Mother’s Day by taking her out for lunch or dinner. I love my mom.

ISAIAH
I help my mom with groceries and stuff. What I like about my mom is she raised me with my stepfather too. We celebrate Mother’s Day at my house or my brother’s house or a restaurant.

VICTOR
Mom is so sweet and happy. I love mom for making eggs and tortillas. My mom helps me watering plants. We celebrate Mother’s Day with cyan and blue hearts. I love my mom because she soo funny and sweet and nice.

MARK
Hello my name is Mark. I want to write about my mom. She is nice to me and she helps me to understand things. She helps me with my goals like learning to get my driver’s license.

RYAN D
My mom is special because she loves me. I love it when my mom gives me stuff and takes me to places I want. She helps me with my acting and singing for plays. We go to dinner for Mother’s Day. I love my mom because she’s a really good cook and she makes delicious food.

ALEX V
Mom helps me with driving. I like my Mom’s Cooking. My mom’s best cooking is Spaghetti and meatballs, Lasagna, steak and mashed potatoes, corn on a cob and Hamburger Helper. And she takes me on vacation and takes me to Disneyland and Disneyworld. She takes me to the movies and to all the amusement parks and she gives me birthday presents and Christmas presents.

DANIEL N
Hello my name is Daniel and I’m going to be writing about my mom. She is very special because she helps me weed at Luna Azul. She also schedules rides for me and does pickup times calling Dial A Ride. They have a list of times available on the website. Sometimes 3:00 is not on the website. She has me booked for 1:00 on Friday for yoga with Regan, my instructor. My mom makes curried veggies with meat from the grocery store. I love my mom  because she supported my decision to put Queenie down. I did not want her to suffer. 

ANGEL
One way that I celebrate on Mother’s Day is that I find a gift for her like a notebook to write in and a bracelet. Also to have dinner together.

DRESDEN
I am supported by my mother in ways that far surpass the value of any material possession. She provided me with all the necessary tools needed for critical thinking and understanding other people’s perspectives. These tools have proven to be valuable assets to becoming an independent adult. She’s a very creative person, and though I did not necessarily inherit those genes, my mother’s imprinting shows how I am able to be so dynamic in spite of being on the Spectrum. My mother helps me remain on track with my life’s goals, provides nourishment, and even if I didn’t need as much support from her, she will always be there for me when I’m at a low point. My family and I have a meal together at my Grandmother’s house and exchange gifts. Though I’m still getting used to figuring out what people like, I eagerly anticipate seeing their reactions to receiving my presents – though albeit, with a bit of underlying anxiety. Nevertheless, they always appreciate the kind gesture and return the favor in earnest. I love my mom because she never gives up on me,

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our website. Thank You!

The Importance of Self-Control

Managing our own behavior in social situations is an essential life skill that enables us to achieve goals, maintain employment and build relationships. At SEEDs, we understand that self-management can be especially difficult for those on the autism spectrum. Through role play, group exercises and engaging curriculum, our program empowers students to navigate through life’s experiences with mindfulness, personal responsibility and confidence. We asked our participants share their success stories of maintaining self-control.

SKYLER
Self-control is the ability to control yourself, in particular your emotions and desires or the expression of them in your behavior, especially in difficult situations. Research has shown that people with strong self-control have better health, relationships, finances, and careers as well as they’re also less likely to have problems with overeating, overspending, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, procrastination, and unethical behavior. An example of self control is when you want the last cookie but you use your willpower to avoid eating it because you know it isn’t good for you. The ability to control one’s desires and impulses; willpower. 

ANGEL
Self control is to control yourself, like emotions. For me, I control my behavior: taking deep breaths and clearing my mind.

VICTOR
Self-control is important because it is used to stay calm and relax. I stay calm when I am listening to music, reading a book, watching Netflix, and YouTube. It makes me feel happy

DANIEL W
Self-control is the action of controlling your actions. I demonstrate self-control whenever I buy something and have to wait for it to arrive. It eventually arrives and I feel glad I’ve waited.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our website. Thank you!

The Importance of Empathy

Empathy is communicating that incredibly healing message of “You are not alone.”
Brené Brown

Throughout our lives we are presented with many opportunities to empathize with others. But for those on the autism spectrum, it is often difficult to understand these complex emotions and social behaviors. At SEEDs, we encourage our participants to look outside themselves and think about others, their community and the world around them. How can I help? What can I do to connect with the people I interact with? We asked SEEDs participants to share how they demonstrate empathy in their own lives.

ERIK
Empathy is when one feels the same emotions that other people feel in a situation; this is important because it demonstrates a genuine connection to others.

I felt empathy when I watched the Disney 2018 film “Christopher Robin”. I cried when the adult Christopher was reunited with his childhood playmates after so many years apart. This was because I fondly remember the innocence of my early youth; a youth that I seem to never have entirely, yet has greatly diminished over time

ANNA
Empathy to me means hearing of a feeling someone has and you remembering having that exact feeling. Many times the emotion of the other person you have empathy for had somewhat of a same situation for what the other person is feeling.

It is important to have empathy because sympathy does not go far enough. It’s like having sympathy for homeless children you see in a charity commercial. You may feel sympathy for the children. But you’re not willing to give money to charity. Empathy is giving money to the homeless children not because you had a similar situation but because you have or had the same feeling the children had. Like feeling alone for example.

Last time I felt empathy was when I was at my job at Fry’s. Some of the cashiers were complaining about a new courtesy clerk. They said he made the bags too heavy and you could tell they were annoyed. However I felt empathy because I had a hard time at first being a courtesy clerk and did things wrong or not the way they should have been. Mainly I think it was not being fast enough bagging the groceries.

What I want to do now is if he needs help I can tell him what groceries go where and tell him not to worry because it takes practice and also which cashiers to look out for who are not the friendliest.

CHRIS M
Empathy, oh if only we can understand it. Sometimes, it’s good to share our feelings with another’s, other times it’s too hard to relate to one’s emotions.

One example would be when we witness someone having a meltdown out in public, it’s hard to understand why he or she is feeling that way. Maybe they had a bad day or have a mental illness. You might never know. To me, the best way to deal with such issues is to walk away and avoid them as much as possible. Arguing with them only leads to more anger.

Another example would be if you feel sorry for someone who lost someone dear to them. You would feel sad too if you’d lost a loved one of your own. This can be very relatable to anyone.

Empathy is an emotional feeling towards others in many forms. It’s something that we must endure in our everyday lives. Otherwise, we lose our cool and become self-centered. So go out there and care for someone who might share how you feel.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Deer Guardian – A Project by Chris M


Greetings, it’s Chris M.

BIG News I’d like to share! I am working on my first animated feature film, titled “Sika Deer Guardian“. It’s currently in the story development phase for now. Once I’ve settled on the final outline, I will share scripting duty with a new screenwriter whom I’ve met recently. In the meantime, here’s your first look at some early concept art for the movie in development. Enjoy!

Update:

Hey there, it’s Chris again.
Following the announcement that I’m working on my first animated film, I have now decided on an official title for my special project: “Deer Guardian“! In addition to the title change, I’m looking to set up crowdfunding to help with certain parts of production, such as casting and the overall animation. If you are interested in lending your support to this special project, it would help very much.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE DEPARTMENTS AT SEEDS?

At SEEDs, our participants rotate through a variety of individual departments to experience different jobs, learn new skill sets and discover new interests, talents and connections. This rotation helps students become more flexible, step out of their comfort zones and GROW. We asked our participants to tell us about their favorite departments, and describe what they learned there.

DUSTIN
My favorite departments at SEEDs are Media lab, Newsletter and Wood. I like Media lab because Katrina is nice and I learned to use Photoshop. In the Newsroom I get to use computers and write for the news. I also learned how to use the Google Drive. In Wood I like to build cool things and I learned how to use tools and sandpaper.

NATHAN
My favorite department at SEEDs is the Newsletter Department. The reason the Newsletter Department is my favorite department, is because I can write about the stuff that I am interested in. It allows me to express myself and show others the stuff that I am interested in.

OSCAR
My Favorite department at Seeds is the Newsroom because I get to work on the computer. I learned writing, I learned graphics and I learned about social media. Working in this department makes me feel happy.

ANGEL
My favorite department is the Newsletter and Media Lab. I like it that I get to learn how to write movie reviews or write about events that take place in SEEDS and other places. In Media Lab I also learn how to copy and paste an image and also how to draw/design.

SONJA
My favorite departments at Seeds are Newsletter, Screen Printing and Weaving. In Screen Printing we take the designs we make and print them on screens. Then we cover the backside of the screen in ink, and print the design on the shirt. We also take designs from clients and print them on products for them. I have learned how to create designs on photoshop and how to print them on shirts, bags, and hoodies for clients or for Seeds. I like being in this department because I love creating new designs for Seeds products and clients.

JESSE L.
My favorite departments at SEEDs are:

Newsroom
I work with computers & write stories for the blog.
I learned how to deal with tech problems.

Woodworking
I work with tools to create all kinds of stuff from wood.
I learned how laugh at mistakes.

Spa
I help create soap & other personal care items.
I learned how to chill with friends 😊

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Friendships Grow at SEEDs for Autism

Friendships enrich our lives, make us happy and provide us with a sense of purpose and belonging. At SEEDs for Autism we understand that making friends can be especially difficult for those on the autism spectrum. Our multifaceted program helps participants develop important social skills which empower them to interact with their peers, connect with others and build friendships. Recently, SEEDs participants Daniel N. and Francis decided to go out to lunch together. We asked them to share their experience with us. 

Hello, this is Daniel N. and Francis. We wanted to get together over the break so we exchanged numbers at SEEDs. We texted each other to get together. We went to Farm And Craft for lunch in old town Scottsdale. I (Daniel) ordered grilled chicken salad and Francis ordered the protein pancakes. Francis talked about his L.A. trip and I talked about lightning. We also talked about the weather together. Going out to lunch together made us feel proud and independent. Yes, we would do it again. It was great and enjoyable.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

Talia’s New Job

Developing job skills is a vital part of our program at SEEDs for Autism. Our dedicated staff work closely with our participants to help them create resumes, fill out job applications and prepare for interviews through a series of role plays. These talented individuals are capable, employable and excited to become a valued part of the work force!
Please join us in congratulating Talia on her new job at The Mellow Mushroom!

TALIA
I got a new job at the Mellow Mushroom. Danny (Social Skills Instructor) helped me practice interview skills. He helped me make a resume. My job is unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes on Sunday and Monday. I’m feeling excited and scared and I feel very proud.

This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

SEEDs Virtual Art Show 6

At SEEDs for Autism we understand that Art is a powerful form of communication. Art increases observation skills and builds confidence as it stirs our imagination, encourages creativity, promotes self-expression and helps us GROW. For the sixth installment of our Virtual Art Show, we once again invited SEEDs participants to share their talents and their artwork with our online audience!

Justin M's Easter Eggs.png
Easter Eggs by Justin M.
Flowers by Brian D.
Have an Eggslent Easter by Sonja
Owl by Sydney L. (colored pencil)
Whale Shark by Jeremy H. (watercolor)
Colored by Libby
Cooking Up the Love by Chris M.
House Art.png
House Art by Justin M.
Rounded Black Spots.png
Over the weekend I drew doodles of Kirby for fun. I used pencil to draw with. By Sonja.

Happiness Poetry at SEEDs for Autism

Writing poetry encourages creativity and self-expression. Poetry stirs the imagination and helps us grow emotionally and intellectually as we examine our thoughts and feelings in a symbolic way. Responding to an online writing assignment, the participants at SEEDs for Autism explore what HAPPINESS means to them by describing this joyful emotion through the window of their own experiences.

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This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!

What is Your Definition of Success?

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

Achieving success provides a great sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and well-being.  At SEEDs for Autism, we recognize that even the smallest step in the right direction is PROGRESS and every small success helps develop the confidence needed to take on larger tasks, and achieve bigger goals. In this article, we asked SEEDs participants to reflect on their lives and share their personal definition of success. 

FRANCIS
My definition of success is doing your best. One thing I was successful at was doing my homework in my college classes. It made feel me feel very good.

JUSTIN M
My definition of success is finding a Job. I will be successful when I graduate from college. I was successful at making earrings. It made me feel good. I can help others by teaching them how to make their own earrings.

CHRIS M.
What is the definition of success? Oh boy, that’s a pretty hard question to try and answer. Well, when I think of success, I would think it’s a difficult goal to get to, but it’s not impossible to achieve if you work hard enough. Take celebrities, for example. They had to start somewhere like we do. We all have various backgrounds, but we’ll get to the top of our goals when we try our best.
My personal goal back in my school years was to graduate. It was a pretty tough road to get to where I am now, but I finally graduated in the summer of 2010. If I can do it, you can do it.
Here is my advice for those trying to be successful. If you find yourself having problems achieving your personal goals, just ask your friends and family to help you out of these problems and, eventually, you’ll succeed. It’ll make you feel relieved after all that hard work. Remember, it can be difficult, but not impossible.

SONJA
My definition of success is achieving something you never thought you could do and going out into the world to do it. You feel good about your life and where it’s going. I was playing my video game and there was a tough boss and after a few tries I did it. It made me feel great to do it. Never give up and if there are set backs it’s okay.

SYDNEY L.
My definition of success is working hard to get the job done. I feel successful when I’ve finished the task I was given. I was successful at relearning how to ride a bike. The first time, I was given a bike that was too big for me and I had a hard time controlling it and I ended up crashing into a wall. But I didn’t give up and kept going. The next time I rode a bike, it was a lot easier to do because the bike was smaller and easier to use. I was just so excited to refresh my bike riding skills. My advice is don’t give up, keep going and you will be successful at your job, like I was at riding a bike.

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This article was featured in an issue of the SEEDs for Autism Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe and hear more stories from SEEDs participants, please visit our websiteThank you!